The house smelled of chemicals; sulfur, sodium sulfate, nitric acid, and plenty more mixed together. Despite that, Nichaalas the Delphox breathed in as effortlessly as regular air. He ground common salt with a mortar and pestle until it became a fine powder. Once done, he poured the salt powder into a flask full of oil of vitriol. He stirred the contents with a thin glass rod until the two became one. He smiled, lifting the clear mixed liquid against his neon green eyes.
“That’s one spirit of salt,” Nichaalas said. He poured the content into a series of vials, each with a ‘Spirit of Salt’ label. He sealed each one and set one aside with six other vials. Picking the rest up, he carried them to a glass shelving case. He set them there next to various other pre-prepared alchemist ingredients. “Let’s write down some notes.”
Nichaalas stood tall at six feet seven, an abnormal height for a Delphox. His body rippled with large muscles inherited from his Fighting-type parent. He wore no dark red ‘sleeves’ on his arms, and his dark red ‘kilt’ extended halfway down his thighs, exposing his black arms and most of his legs. He wiggled one of his ears, with them a quarter of the size of a regular Delphox’s ears with a bit of dark red fur turf protruding out.
“Very good,” Nichaalas said to himself. He picked up a notebook and flipped through it. Various handwritten notes littered throughout each page, each one organized so even someone with passing knowledge of alchemy would understand them. He added notes regarding creating spirit of salt, sal petrae, and aqua fortis. Once done, he closed the notebook, with the front holding an image of three connected suns, one black, another white, and the last one red. “Now, to wait.”
He set the notebook aside before glancing at a shelf. He opened it, careful not to damage a single letter within them. One of the letters lay with its ending unfolded and exposed, signed as NKLE. He could not help but smile at them since they encompassed four decades of his life: of learning, friendship with, and much more with NKLE or, as he later learned, Niikalei. So much joy sprouted from this, which resulted in their daughter being born from this world.
Although, who would have thought that his daughter, Kthaarae, would ascend into a goddess at a universal scale? Not to mention, how could he have guessed that Niikalei, to his surprise, was a goddess herself all along?
“Life is full of surprises,” Nichaalas said. He closed the letter before closing the shelf with gentle care. “And I must be one of the luckiest mortals alive.”
A knock came from the front door.
“Ah. That must be her.” Nichaalas went over to the front door. He grabbed the door handle and, with a twist, opened the door. “Hello, my beautiful star in the night sky.”
Kthaarae the Delphox smiled with a slight blush on her cheeks. A little bit of the night sky poked past her head. Despite being on her knees, her head and ears still rubbed against the top of the door frame as she wiggled inside. Her tail, dark yellow and twice as long as her height, enveloped around a wooden staff holding a planet. A belt wrapped around tight against her waist just underneath her breasts, with them far more massive than her head (including her ears).
“Hey there, Dad,” Kthaarae said. Her ears brushed against an orbiting setup at the center of the living room. Each held a metal encased in glass, seven in number, the centermost being gold. The other six orbited the gold one, like the planets in a solar system orbiting the sun. Kthaarae grabbed the last of the six encased metals, with a ring around it like Saturn, and held the lead within. It took a second before the Moon (without Earth and had silver within) stopped wiggling. “Oops. Sorry.”
“That’s all right, my dear,” Nichaalas said. He reached up and rubbed his daughter’s cheek underneath the glowing neon green design. The green held the same shade as her eyes. A wavy line made five inflection points starting from opposite ends and had four bright dots at the opposite point of the waves. “How are you doing? From the looks of it,” Nichaalas could not help but chuckle, “you tried to shrink in size again, but it backfired.”
Kthaarae blushed brightly. “Y-yeah. To be safe, I tried it in another universe, but I outgrew it. These even rivaled my size by the end.” She squished her arm against one of her breasts. “Jeez, that was embarrassing. It didn’t help that Ynaa also watched and even gave her own commentary throughout.”
Nichaalas chuckled again. “My dear, only you could fail upward to such incredible degrees.”
“Y-yeah.” Kthaarae rubbed her necklace, which held multiple Earth-like planets. “But other than that, I’m doing all right. At the very least, I wrote some notes about it.” She reached to the left side of her belt, which held a book. She rubbed the dark green cover with the same glowing neon green design underneath her left eye and beside her right. She pulled it out and flipped through the pages; the book held infinite pages, but she always opened it to the desired page. “It’s fascinating to learn what other world’s magic, what other universes’ magic, does and try them out. Although, I’m still frustrated that I can’t find anything that could shrink me below six feet.”
“I’m sure you’ll find out what works in time, my dear.” Nichaalas nodded. A sharp glint came to his eyes. “Otherwise, you may fail upward so much that even Ynaa may consider you an equal.”
“S-stop it! You’re embarrassing me, Dad!” Kthaarae’s face turned bright red.
“No worries. I’m only half-joking, my dear.” Nichaalas chuckled. “How is Niikalei? Have you spoken with your mother recently?”
“Mom is doing well,” Kthaarae answered. She relaxed and rubbed her planet earring, which she wore on her left ear tip. Her dad wore a similar planet earring on his left ear at the same tip point as a gift from her. “I handed her some ingredients from another universe, which excited her. She told me how proud she is of me.”
“And I’m the same with you, my dear.” Nichaalas grinned with pride. “Every parent should be proud to have their children surpass them.”
“Now you’re just teasing me!”
“No. I have never been more serious.”
Kthaarae rubbed her necklace again. “In-in any case, I also brought you the other universe’s ingredients.” Kthaarae reached into her small pouch and opened it. Her arm sunk in far more innate than the pouch’s size suggested. She pulled out seven vials, each with a label like ‘Hydra Blood’ or ‘Water Dragon Scales.’ “What do you think?”
Nichaalas checked each one over. “Ah. I had never seen such ingredients before. It is excellent that you brought seven.” He grinned as he set them beside the other seven vials. “Do you know how sacred the number seven is?”
“Yeah.” Kthaarae glanced up at the metal solar system display. “Are you sure it’s safe? Half of what you prepared looked dangerous. ‘Sugar of Lead,’ ‘Fool’s Gold,’ and—”
“Ah. Don’t worry, my dear.” Nichaalas reached up and rubbed his daughter’s cheek again. “With careful applications and transfers, it’ll be safe.”
“If you say so, Dad.” Kthaarae rubbed one of her ringworld’s arm bands, with three on each forearm. One each also wrapped around just above her ankles. “Still, all right if I watch? I’m, er, quite curious.”
“Of course, my dear,” Nichaalas answered while a gleam flashed in his eyes. He knew his daughter well enough that she stayed because of worry instead of curiosity. “Watch what I learned over the last few years alone.”
Nichaalas picked up a glass flask carrying purified water. He set it over an unlit Bunsen burner with such care that the water wiggled only a little. He turned on the gas and, with a light puff of flames, set the burner ablaze. Fire flowed toward the flask, and he waited until the water boiled. Then, he picked up the vial labeled ‘Spirit of Salt’ and poured its content in. Afterward, he grabbed the one Kthaarae brought, labeled ‘Gryphon Tears,’ and poured it in.
He turned off the burner before mixing the contents with a glass rod. Despite the steam flowing out, he felt comfortable with the heat. While stirring with one hand-paw, he picked up the one labeled ‘Hydra Blood,’ with its content holding purple blood. He poured it in and mixed it with the others. Fifteen seconds of mixing later, he grabbed the ‘Blue Vitriol’ one and added it in.
The mixture blackened so much that even the glass around it stopped reflecting.
“Now, that’s curious.” Nichaalas rushed over to the bookshelf on the other side of the room and picked up an old book with its cover peeling off. He flipped through its pages several times until he pressed his finger on one of them. “Ah, could it be?”
“Er, Dad?” Kthaarae resisted the urge to lean over his head.
“You know, it might be possible.” Nichaalas’s body shook with excitement, something that baffled his daughter. He rushed to the alchemy desk and lay the book beside his notes. “That’s stage one down if true.” Nichaalas picked up a cork with glass spiral tubing and applied it to the flask. “The thing with mixing dangerous ingredients is making sure that the poisons and such cancel each other out while leaving any potential benefits untouched. Right, my dear?”
“Er, I guess,” Kthaarae said. She left unsaid a question about how he knew which one would cancel out which.
“Good.” Nichaalas picked up two of the vials Kthaarae brought, one being ‘Kitsune Claws’ and the other ‘Water Dragon Scales,’ and poured them into the mortar. He grabbed two of his own, a ‘Fool’s Gold’ and a ‘Sal Petrae,’ and added them. He took the pestle and ground the four ingredients together. “Easier for them to mix once they’re a powder.”
To an average person, grinding claws and scales would take hours of work. However, with Nichaalas strength and speed, it took him minutes until they became a fine powder. He poured the powder mix into a glass beaker. Once every bit of the powder lay in, he grabbed the flask with the pure black liquid and flipped it upside down while setting it on a stand. The pure black liquid flowed through the spiral tubing and exited into the beaker.
Once a steady dripping flowed in, he picked up a clean glass stirring rod and mixed them. The mixed content lightened in color with every drop that flowed into the beaker. A minute later, every bit of the black liquid lay in the beaker, though no longer black. Instead, it whitened so much that it appeared to glow from its reflection.
Nichaalas grinned wide. “Yes. I can feel it in every bit of my fur. This is the greatest work, the magnum opus, of all alchemy.”
“If you say so, Dad.” Despite what her half-sarcastic tone suggested, Kthaarae leaned in with curiosity.
Nichaalas picked up the beaker. “In this state, there will likely be some poisonous leftovers. Which is why this next step is important.”
He grabbed a flask with a round bottom and poured the beaker’s content within. He picked up a twisted glass tubing and, with careful applications of his flames, fused it onto the top of the flask. He lay the flask above a burner without flames pouring out, the exit point of the tubing aiming above nothing.
Nichaalas grinned while he picked up a sterile beaker and added two ingredients, ‘Aqua Fortis’ and ‘Sugar of Lead.’ After he placed the empty vials away, he grabbed two vials that his daughter brought, ‘Gargoyle Dust’ and ‘Cerberus Teeth.’ He placed the teeth into a clean mortar and ground them with a pestle until they became powder. He added it and the dust to the beaker and mixed the four ingredients.
“Do you see that?” Nichaalas asked. He lifted the beaker above his head. “Do you see how they consolidate together?”
“Yeah, Dad.” Kthaarae leaned in closer. “You somehow did it.”
“Ah, it reminds me of my youth,” Nichaalas said. His neon green eyes sparkled in joy. “Of experimenting with food before I got my first chemistry set. Learning what goes with what and seeing what tiny changes, like a pinch of salt on meat before cooking, could improve it. Of course, much of my earliest attempts were,” he paused, trying to find the right words. “They were strange, to say the least.”
“I bet, Dad,” Kthaarae said. She remembered stories from her grandparents about how her dad cooked, which included making hamburgers by deep frying them in oil. “So, now what?”
Nichaalas set the beaker on the table at the other end of the spiral tubing. He went to the flask end of the tubing and turned on the burner underneath. The seconds passed by, with the bright white liquid vibrating. It boiled, with the fluids flowing through the tubing, going up and down the spiral. Nichaalas grinned, leaning closer at the liquid dripping into the beaker.
He mixed the beaker’s content with a glass rod, grinning wider with every turn. The white liquid kept flowing out, landing in a fizzle, until everything that boiled out landed in the beaker. He dropped the rod and turned off the burner, letting the poisonous waste flow back into the flask.
By the time he finished stirring the beaker, its content had yellowed.
“Why, yes. This is going better, much better, than I hoped,” Nichaalas said. He picked up the beaker above his head in pride. “Even as I touch it, I can feel its potent power. It’s going as the book said.”
Kthaarae blinked in surprise. She never saw her dad this excited before from making a potion. Though he always took great pride in his work, he did it with a professional and focused air. To be this excited, it must be something huge.
“And now, for the final bit.”
Nichaalas set the beaker down before picking up the two remaining vials, ‘Behemoth Fur’ and ‘Alkahest.’ He tapped the two glasses together for luck before he uncorked them. With one on each hand-paw, he hovered each flask so the beaker lay between them. He counted to three in his head and poured them both in.
At once, yellow bubbles flowed upward, exiting the beaker. He kept a focused gaze at a beaker, though his long tail betrayed how much excitement he held within. By all appearance, the yellow ‘boiled’ away while the remaining content reddened. When he picked the beaker up and wiped out the yellow bubbles, the liquid glowed bright red.
“Aha. It’s as I hoped,” Nichaalas said. He turned to the book again with a wide grin. “This is the magnum opus. I feel it; I know it.”
“What does it do, dad?” Kthaarae asked. “Because I never read anything like that before.”
Nichaalas pressed the beaker against his muzzle. “An interesting question, my dear.” He handed the aging book to his daughter. “I read tales of a magnum opus that all alchemists strived for. Some say that it grants eternal youth, others say it brings riches, and more say it cures any diseases out there. But we can find out together.”
“How do you know you created it?” Kthaarae skimmed the book in confusion. “No offense, Dad, but I don’t see anything that makes it so unique.”
“Ah, my dear. To answer that question is to get into the legend of the first alchemist.” Nichaalas reached up and rubbed Kthaarae’s cheek. “The father of alchemy. The book listed no ingredients for creating the magnum opus; maybe he didn’t write them down, or it got lost over the ages. What he did list down, or survived, was how it changed colors. It went from clear to black, white to yellow, and finally red. It’s said that everyone looked up to him in wonder and fear whenever he took it. All attempted to create it afterward, though failed in one way or another.”
“And you think you succeeded where everyone failed?” Kthaarae asked. She waited until her dad nodded. “I hope you’re right about this.”
“I’m sure of it.” Nichaalas rubbed the beaker with both hand-paws. His long tail wagged with grace, never knocking down anything behind him. “And now, for the final test.”
Kthaarae nodded while laying one of her hand-paw on top of her belt. On her belt bucket lay an undo button, which she used to undo any unintentional damage her uncontrolled growth caused. An idea struck her, with her shoulder fur flinching.
“Say, shouldn’t we—”
By then, Nichaalas tipped the beaker into his mouth and drank the brew. Every bit of the fluid went down his throat and into his stomach. He felt its effect flowing outward, going from his blood, bone, and muscle to skin and fur. It went through the tip of his tail and toes to his head and ears. Once done, he set the beaker on a table.
“Ah, that felt good. A stingy effect, like electricity on the tongue, while having the sweetness of oranges.” Nichaalas turned to Kthaarae. “Were you saying something, my dear?”
“Er, I was about to, you know, suggest that you take it outside.” Kthaarae rubbed the back of her head. “I was thinking that it, well, you know.”
Nichaalas chuckled. “I know, my dear.”
Kthaarae gave her dad a soft smile until she blinked. At once, a reddish gas hovered all around her dad’s body, spiraling around. Nichaalas flicked his ears, noticing his daughter’s expression, and turned all over himself. He flinched at the gas, moving his arm toward its spiral arm, but it flowed away while still spiraling around.
“I do believe that the potion is starting its effect,” Nichaalas said. His fur fluffed up in restrained excitement. “I wonder what it would—”
He paused, sensing a sudden roughness beneath his feet-paws. He glanced down, only for his ears to brush against the ceiling. Kthaarae gasped and wiggled back to make room for her dad. At that point, his head bumped against the top with a thud hard enough that he winced.
“Oh?” Nichaalas glanced around the room. Everything seemed to shrink around him, but he knew that was not the case. “I’m growing.”
“Eep!” Kthaarae flattened her ears back in shock. Despite Nichaalas crouching down, he had already reached the ceiling. The room cramped up from the two large Delphox, with one filling it up more. “I guess that’s what it meant by, ‘all looked up to him,’ doesn’t it?”
“How literal,” Nichaalas said. His head cracked the ceiling despite not moving an inch. “So, is this how it feels to grow, my dear?”
Before Kthaarae answered that question, Nichaalas’s tail crushed against the chemistry table. He winced, feeling glass, lumber, and liquid sticking against his tail. His growing size made it a problem to break things without meaning. He lowered himself, only for his growth to put him back against the ceiling. Kthaarae cringed, her dad already larger than herself.
“Dad, hold on! I’m going to—”
Nichaalas broke through the ceiling, despite his best effort not to. He groaned and, closing his eyes, stood up. He felt it was unavoidable at this point, and it may save the letters he treasured so much. He smashed up through, going to the second floor and then through the roof, with the difficulty of punching through wet cardboard. The night’s lights, with the stars and the Moon, landed on his body. Lumber, insulation, and glass slid off from his fur. He glanced at his back, where various debris stuck on his fur.
“Gah!” Nichaalas took a couple of steps from his home, with it as high as his waist. His tail brushed against various trees, knocking one down without meaning to. He winced and took a step to the right before he realized there lay his private farm, where he grew food and ingredients. He stopped himself in time. “No, no, no.” Instead, he took a couple of steps to the left, bumping into a tree with enough force to collapse it. “Gah!”
Kthaarae stood up straight from what remained of the house. She gasped not just because of how large and fast her dad grew but how awkward he stepped. Before, despite having a more intimidating size than herself, he stepped through even crowded areas with grace. Here, though, he walked no better than a teen growing too fast.
“Dad!” Kthaarae stepped on thin air; the space beneath it bent like a water bed. She hurried over to her dad, who doubled in size and grew faster. “Are you all right?”
“Y-yes, my dear,” Nichaalas answered. He twisted toward the deeper part of the woods, away from the nearby town. Despite his urgent rush and how fast he grew, he stumbled from every tree he knocked down. “Ah, I don’t think I can leave here in time.”
Kthaarae reached back to her tail, which still held her staff. She spun it a few times and when she pointed it at her dad, her eyes glowed neon green. She fired a light beam at her dad, which engulfed him and later her. The area around them shifted from a forest to a white void and finally an open field.
“Whew,” Kthaarae said to herself. “It’s always good to have an emergence spell.”
She almost let herself relax, but she stopped herself. Her dad grew, with his foot-paw already more enormous than his home. She ‘ran’ on bent space, rushing up to her dad. It took her longer than she wished since her dad kept growing faster.
Nichaalas, for his part, sighed in relief when he realized where he had teleported to. The ground beneath his feet-paws broke and sank, causing him to wince. He stepped out, leaving behind deep and large paw prints. He took some steps, with each paw print he left behind larger than the one before. When he took five steps, the newest paw crater doubled in size from the first one.
Nichaalas flinched when his daughter finally caught up, standing on his muzzle no bigger than a Joltik. “My dear? Are you all right?”
“I’m more worried about you, Dad,” Kthaarae said. “Can you sense how big you’re going to get?”
“I do not, my dear,” Nichaalas answered. “It felt constant, not increasing or decreasing in strength.”
Nichaalas’s ears brushed against the clouds. He flinched and waved them away, with them flowing around his thick arms. The red spiraling gas still flowed around him, always out of reach. Kthaarae shrank from her dad’s view, becoming no bigger than a dot on his muzzle.
Kthaarae glanced around her, with single strands of fur growing larger than her legs. It felt odd to be the small one while her dad grew to massive heights instead. Still, she knew he needed all the support he got. She swung her staff around until the planet on the staff’s head glowed green. The light engulfed her body before fading. At once, she grew, catching up to her dad’s growth speed.
Nichaalas glanced at his muzzle, where a dot flashed green before something grew. Kthaarae’s features became visible by the second, from her ears and breasts to her tail and staff. He glanced around and, seeing nobody nearby, sat down. Kthaarae grew until she dominated much of his muzzle’s bridge.
“Are you all right, Dad?” Kthaarae asked. She bent down on his muzzle and rubbed between his eyes.
“Better now I can see you, my dear,” Nichaalas answered. He flattened one of his ears back in confusion. Though he kept growing, his daughter remained the same size in his view. Perhaps she slowed down her growth spell so she remained the same size as he grew, but why? The answer struck him, and he chuckled. “Ah, my dear. Taking advantage so I remained the massive one?”
“To be honest, yeah.”
Nichaalas nodded before he glanced around. Far out into the distance lay a large city, though he guessed that he already towered the tallest building while sitting down. It felt like he transported into another world from his perspective. He gave a small smile.
“I must say, this looks so fascinating,” Nichaalas said. “And given how this potion only became possible from going to other worlds and universes, I wondered if the legendary alchemist found a way to travel through space and other universes.”
“Or maybe he also fell in love with a goddess who helped him?” Kthaarae suggested.
“That too, my dear.” Nichaalas chuckled.
His height increased by the second, passing through cloud layer after layer while sitting down. When his fingers rubbed against a miles away road minutes ago, he got up. Already, his foot-paw looked as though it could crush the nearby city. With that in mind, he walked away from the city. A mere, careless kick at that size would crush mountains as easily as kicking sand.
With every few steps, he approached another city. He turned away and walked, only to find another one five steps later. He grew faster still and wondered where to go without accidentally stepping on a city. His tail, meanwhile, brushed against the ground and knocked down a stray tree with a single strand. The sky darkened while the stars brightened while increasing in numbers.
At that point, he saw the planet’s curvature.
“Ah, I must be utterly massive now. And I don’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.” Nichaalas glanced around.
“I think ‘massive’ is an understatement here, Dad,” Kthaarae said. She crawled over the side of her dad’s muzzle. “At this point, everyone on this side of the continent must be watching you.”
“You think so?” Nichaalas chuckled.
He stepped around faster, trying to avoid any place with cities, but the difficulty increased. After all, he had left behind country-sized prints by that point. He swallowed while bending down and, counting to three, leaped into the air. He hovered higher until he left the planet’s gravity. At least out in space, it should be impossible to squash anyone by accident.
From his view, the planet shrank in size, with it the size of a skyscraper. It shrank, going down to the size of a warehouse and then into a house. By the time he reached the planet’s size, he had stopped growing. The reddish gas still hovered around him, perhaps giving him an atmosphere to breathe in. Then again, perhaps once someone grew to a specific size, physical needs like air no longer apply.
“I never thought, in my life, I could view the world from space,” Nichaalas said. His eyes sparkled from the view like the countless lights on the surface. “Let alone grow so huge like you, my dear.”
“It does, Dad,” Kthaarae said. She leaned over her dad’s nose. “You know, I saw this view so much whenever I tried to shrink in size, only for it to backfire that I almost forgot how lovely it is.”
“Ah, it is fantastic, my dear.” Nichaalas reached over and rubbed Kthaarae’s ears. She blushed, not having this feeling since she was a Fennekin. He chuckled a bit. “So, my dear, is this how it felt?”
“Hmm?” Kthaarae turned to him.
“To grow without control, trying to ensure you don’t damage anything? Is it anything like that?”
“To be honest, yeah.” Kthaarae nodded. She reached down to her belt. “If you want me to, I can undo it all. Go back to just before you grow in size, I mean.”
“Not yet, my dear,” Nichaalas said. He smiled at her and then at the planet. “I want to take it all in, seeing the world as you see it. As your mother sees it.”
Kthaarae blushed but nodded. “Y-yes, Dad.”
“Perhaps I should tell her all about this the next time she visits,” Nichaalas said, more to himself. “Tell her how this potion was made. But, before that, I must write down some notes so I don’t forget them. I don’t think I should sell it, however. Too dangerous, even with deities like you watching the universe. I want to try out smaller doses, though, and see if that affects how big I get. Still, the legendary alchemist was correct: it is the magnum opus. It may not be what I expected, but it is a crown jewel of alchemy.”
Kthaarae smiled while watching her dad. “Yes, Dad.”
She got off and, through bending space, ‘walked’ over to hug her dad just below his pecs. He chuckled and hugged back tight.
Commissioned by B424!
Nichaalas, the Delphox alchemist, was preparing a potion when his daughter, Kthaarae, the Goddess of Caution, Conscientiousness, and Failure, came with some ingredients. When he used them with his own, he found that it may be the key to figuring out the alchemy magnum opus. He went through creating it, but would it be too much for one person?
Here is a silly story involving father-daughter bonding and macro silliness. Enjoy!
The image in the thumbnail is by Alterflane!